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Another extensive car museum in Southeastern France: Cite d’Automobile

Posted by on April 23, 2019

Close to Basel, Switzerland there is a lesser known car museum in Mulhouse, France – Cité d’Automobile. If you want to go to someplace off the beaten path and you like cars, I recommend going to Mulhouse where the Cité d’Automobile is located at. It’s not far from Basel and I thought that it was worth going to due to its proximity.

Also known as the Schlumpf Collection, which was named after the two Schlumpf brothers who started their car collection, this car museum specializes in Bugatti motor vehicles which were often used in car races. The museum does have a lot of other car brands since the collection was seized by the government when the two brothers went into debt so many other priceless antiques have been added or switched out over time.

bugatti racing museum pieces

There are a lot of Bugatti racing cars in here. A lot of them I was not familiar with.

car museum france

I felt like this place was more like a warehouse than a museum and yup, sure enough that was the case. The Franz brothers had pretty much stored their original collection on warehouse sheds so I guess the spirit continues in this case with just rows and rows of cars being presented.

So if you have time, then try to make it a 5 site car museum visit quest since they are close to each other:

Audi Museum in Ingolstadt, Germany
BMW Museum in Munich, Germany
Porsche Museum and Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany
Cite d’Automobile in Mulhouse, France

I could add in Brussels’s car museum, Autoworld, as well, but it’s not as well-known and it’s not as exclusive or famous as the other ones mentioned above. I would have to say that the four German auto museums take the advantage since they are the automakers themselves. Autoworld and Cité d’Automobile are more of a mass collection put together by some passionate people.

Tip: Despite being in southeast France and literally on the border next to Germany (and also close to Switzerland), Basel is still far from the famous battle site of Verdun. So trying to do both in one day might be quite difficult. Best to make this a Switzerland-oriented trip with a side-trip to this car museum.